Last week we received a note from the people at Facebook that our Spacing Magazine account had been suspended. We inquired further and it turns out only “real people” can have accounts. At first we were a bit upset — they killed us — but then the more we thought about it, the death of Spacing on Facebook is a very good thing.
Facebook is the best social networking software we’ve come across yet. The back and front-end interfaces are fantastic, clean and user friendly. Better yet, they keep the anarchy of the ‘net at bay by ensuring that only individuals have accounts — and then Facebook makes them obey their design rules (seems so Canadian). We’ve all but abandoned our Myspace account because it’s the Dubai of the internet: cancerous and unregulated growth, hard to navigate, difficult or impossible to tell what’s real and what’s not, and most importantly, it generally looks ugly — like 1994-era free geocities websites.
The first, and only, online social network I joined was Friendster four years ago — until now. It’s still around, but at some point it stopped being “cool,” and it failed to become part of “regular life” — something Facebook seems to be doing. It compliments real life, rather than creates a new universe — so it does what technology should — help us along (in this case, socially). In the one day I’ve been a member, I’ve already found a few people from the past now scattered around the globe I thought I lost. And by limiting it to individual people, it makes it harder for large corporations to get a hold of this chunk of Web 2.0 (look at the way CBS and other networks dominate YouTube now).
So, if you joined Spacing on Facebook and it’s gone, that’s why. But a number of the Spacing editors have accounts now — something most of us thought we’d never do — and we’ve created a Spacing group, so join it, if you want. As for Myspace, we’ll watch it from a distance.
(Image by Angelique Sklavounos in Cavalier Daily)